Election News

Is Tulsi Gabbard about to drop out of the presidential race?

Tulsi Gabbard is a smiling woman who is running as a possible Democratic Presidential candidate
Tulsi GabbardPhoto: Shutterstock

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is asking supporters for $1 million in an end-of-the-year fundraising blitz to “stay competitive” after failing to qualify for this Thursday’s democratic debate.

Gabbard’s ask has fueled rum0rs that the lackluster candidate with a homophobic past may soon drop out of the Democratic presidential race, following recent high profile drop-outs like Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Related: Tulsi Gabbard says she never supported conversion therapy

In an e-mail to supporters, Gabbard’s campaign wrote, “We need to raise $1M by December 31st in order to stay competitive and continue our momentum. Let’s put our grassroots msg front and center in the most competitive early state media markets. Can you rush a donation and help us reach our fundraising goal?”

At the time of publication, she has raised $480,934 of her overall goal.

The Hill reports, “Gabbard has consistently polled in the lower or middle tiers in national and early state surveys, but pressure on her campaign was ramped up after she narrowly failed to qualify for Thursday’s primary debate, which she said she would have skipped regardless.”

Only seven Democratic candidates reached the fundraising and polling goals to qualify for this Thursday’s debate. Eight other candidates, including Gabbard, failed to qualify.

When Gabbard, a four-term congresswoman from Hawaii and former vice-chair of the National Democratic Committee, first announced her bid for president, she quickly issued a video apology for anti-LGBTQ comments she made as a state legislator when she said, “As Democrats, we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists.”

In her apology, Gabbard said, “In my past, I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, they were hurtful to people in the LGBTQ community and to their loved ones.” I’m deeply sorry for having said them. My views have changed significantly since then, and my record in Congress over the last six years reflects what is in my heart.”

She grew up in a socially conservative household, headed by her father, Mike Gabbard, who successfully led the fight to stop marriage equality in Hawaii in the 1990s. Nine years later, Gabbard joined other Hawaii Congressional members to support marriage equality. She currently has a 100 percent voting score from the Human Rights Campaign.

Nevertheless, she recently accused fellow Democrats of “fomenting religious bigotry” against Catholics. Her repeated attacks on “radical Islam” have made her a regular guest on Fox News. She has also been accused by Hillary Clinton of being a Russian tool to sow division among Democratic candidates.

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